For Sunday we had batted around a few ideas, but eventually settled on a through trip from OFD1 to Cwm Dwr with a divertion up to Fault Aven.
There was a note on the board at Penwyllt warning that there had been an issue with the OFD 1 lock lately and so we decided to take Loz’s car down the hill in case we couldn’t get in that way. As it turned out the problem was that the lock splits into two parts when unlocked, rather than an issue opening it.
Because of our planned trip we were each loaded with a kit bag as we headed in. Jess took the lead for the trip to cement the route in her head. OFD1 proved easy going with the water levels very low and we were soon past the stream way, up the choke and making our way through the connection before we knew it. At the Letterbox we tried grabbing the chain and walking up the wall to post ourselves in feet first staring at the ceiling and this worked extremely well. On we went through the crawls, down the Divers Pitch and to the Confluence where again we met a very low main stream way.
At the first river chamber Jess went up first to get the ladder rigged at the pull through. I went up the pitch first and re-rigged to belay the girls up and then off we went to the photographic objective of the day, Fault Aven.
After navigating a rather intimidating traverse around a big hole in the floor I sent the girls off to have a look at the sand blocked rift passage whilst I set up flash guns. We spent a good 20 minutes trying to get a shot before eventually deciding to call it a day and continue with the through trip. We decided to turn right after the confluence and head out via the waterfall, but at some point we took a wrong turn, perhaps climbing out at the wrong point, and eventually exited via a squeeze in boulders about 30m from the Smithy.
Back on route we had no further problems making our way out aside from an incident where my balanced camera box slipped off a rock above me giving me a black eye!
|Loz at Fault Aven|
|Jess and Loz at Fault Aven|
Present: Loz Appleby, Jess Burkey & Mark Burkey